Sports investment schemes—it’s just gambling

25 June 2009

SCAMwatch is warning consumers that sports ‘investment’ schemes are just another form of gambling and are often outright scams. Don’t be fooled by the sales spin—they are a fast way to lose your money.

These schemes are also known as sports arbitrage, sports betting, sports wagering, sports tipping and sports trading and are marketed as a risk-free way to increase your wealth. Salespeople claim that they have techniques to capitalise on different odds offered by different bookies and present graphs showing extraordinary returns.

The schemes usually involve purchasing prediction software or entering into a betting syndicate and sometimes include a subscription to a tipping service.

The ACCC receives numerous complaints about these schemes. Common stories are that:

  • the software isn’t delivered or doesn’t work
  • money disappears from betting accounts without any bets being laid on your behalf
  • money cannot be withdrawn from the syndicate
  • the betting tips are taken from public sources like local newspapers
  • the company aggressively demands more money
  • the company cannot be contacted about problems or refunds.

These claims of extraordinary returns sound too good to be true because they are!

Ask yourself: If these systems produce a guaranteed, risk-free profit, why is the company selling the scheme instead of simply using it to make millions themselves?

The ACCC has produced a new Sports investment scam fact sheet [no longer available] to highlight the tricks used to convince you that these schemes are legitimate investments.

You can also review Sports 'investment' schemes a fast way to do your bucks for information on a recent multi-agency initiative targeting these businesses.

Warning signs

  • You receive an unsolicited offer to participate in an 'investment' opportunity that sounds too good to be true.
  • The opportunity promises guaranteed or impressive returns for little to no risk or work.
  • You are unable to access money paid into the scheme or have difficulty contacting the company.
  • You receive numerous reasons to explain why the scheme is not working as promised.

Protect yourself

  • Get-rich schemes don’t work! The only person that benefits from get-rich schemes is the scammer.
  • Do not agree to offers or deals straight away: tell the person that you are not interested or that you want to get some independent advice before making a decision.
  • Do your homework—just because a company has a professional looking website and is registered with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission does not make it trustworthy.
  • If you receive unsolicited emails, delete them immediately!

Report


You can report the matter using the report a scam online form.

You should also warn your friends, family, colleagues and neighbours about the scam.

More information

Explore SCAMwatch to find out more about investment scams (get-rich-quick schemes) and how you can protect yourself.

Read more